Publication Details

Cahill, Rowan (2002). Alec Campbell, 1899-2002. Hummer, 3 (8), 1-2.

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When Alec Campbell died in May 2002, he was accorded a nationally televised state funeral. Powerful forces, including media organisations, the Returned Services League, the Department of Veterans Affairs, had long been preparing for this death. Campbell was dubbed The Last Anzac. A flood of media stories and government press releases followed Campbell’s death. These tended to be fulsome in their elaboration of Anzac mythology, and general in reference to his military career and to his long life after World War I. On the subject of Campbell the political activist, there was silence. One year in the life of the man as a 16 year old boy-soldier apparently overwhelmed, negated, and buried at least two decades of the man’s life in the forefront of some very tough, and high profile, politics on the Left. Workers Online, the weekly web journal published by the NSW Labor Council, was one of the few places in Australia where readers could glimpse Alec Campbell, the political activist. The following story by Rowan Cahill was published on May 24, the day of the funeral.